Week 10 – 5/3/1 – Day 36

Cycle #3

Overall, I felt much better coming into the workout today.  I read something very inspiring while I was perusing the net at work today.  It was an article by none other than Jim Wendler himself.  It was quite refreshing to read because I’ve been experiencing subtle whispers in my head telling me that I need to cut down on my eating and start doing some more cardio to get that six pack ab.  I guess I should expect it considering summer’s finally here.  The title of the article is “Time to Man Up”.  When I first read it, I had a resounding thought of “F*CK YEAH” in my head and I got really amped.

Deadlift:  5×115, 5×140, 3×175 + 3×205, 3×235, 5×265

I had business socks on.  Probably looked a bit silly, but it saved my shins a bit.  I did manage to rip off a scab from my previous deadlift session, so that was no fun, but didn’t really affect me much.  I used my belt on the last set and had an alternating grip.  Form felt great- I didn’t feel any stress on the lower back.  I think the feeling I can best describe is that I was trying to separate the floor, contracting the glutes and driving my heels into the ground while lifting the bar close to the body.  Once the bar reached my knees, I drove my hips forward aggressively.

Boring But Big 70%

Squat: 3×135, 3×155, 1×185 + 7/5/5/5/4 x 205

These felt considerably more confident compared to last time.  What I didn’t like though was that my right wrists were buckled while my left were in line with my forearm.  This needs to be fixed for Friday’s squat.

Ab Wheel:  10/5/5/5/5

These were pretty difficult.  I had put quite a lot more effort in my assistance squat lift today so my mind and body were pretty fried at this point.

Treadmill:  10% incline + 3min. warm-up @ 3.0 spd, 2 sets of 1min. 5.0 speed jog / 1min. 3.0 speed rest

Week 10 – 5/3/1 – Day 35

Cycle #3

I don’t remember my stats, but I think this is a rep PR on the press.  I definitely could have managed a few more reps.

Press:  5×75, 3×85, 4×95

Accidentally did 2 extra reps on the first set.

Boring But Big 70%

Bench Press: 3x10xBar + 5x10x115

My bench felt very strong today.  Managed to bang out all the reps on each set.  I wasn’t tucking my elbows as much.  And I also wasn’t locking out.  I noticed that when I lockout at the top, my shoulder blades naturally protract thereby making me lose tightness in my upper back.

Curls:  3x10x40 + Tricep pushdown:  3x10x35 + Face pull: 3x10x25

Curls were were a bit easier than last time.  Tricep pushdowns were extremely easy.  Face pulls got my anterior delts burning a bit.

Treadmill:  15min at 2.5 speed + max incline.

Week 9 – 5/3/1 – Day 34

Cycle #3

Squat:  5×185, 5×215, 5×245

I had some difficulty with these.  My form seems to be pretty good- bar is no longer moving up onto my traps.  Wrists are buckling sideways a bit though.

Boring But Big 70%

Deadlift:  5/5/4/4/2×205

Used some long formal socks to avoid scraping the knees.  These were heavy.  Couldn’t get to 10 reps on a single set.

Week 9 – 5/3/1 – Day 33

Cycle #3

Bench Press:  3x10xBar + 5×110, 5×125, 5×140

I keep forgetting to do additional reps on the last set.  Today’s bench felt pretty solid- no load imbalance.

Boring But Big 70%

Press:  10/8/5/4/4×75 + DB Row:  5x10x30 

Press was pretty difficult- I couldn’t finish out the sets except for the first.  I used a false grip.  The DB Rows weren’t a part of the Press superset.  Instead, I incorporated it as the last exercise after the face pull.

Curls:  3x10x40 + Tricep pushdown:  3x10x35 + Face pull:  3x10x25

Up’ed the weight on the curls to 40.  I can actually comfortably do these now.  I could barely lift them when I first started 5/3/1.  Tricep pushdowns were still pretty easy, I went from 30 to 35.  Face pulls were pretty as well.

Week 9 – 5/3/1 – Day 32

Cycle #3

Made a mistake and did week 3 weights at 3×5.  Pretty sure I almost tore my left arm off.  I anticipated squats to be fairly difficult and so I used my Inzer lever belt.  I managed to only do 5 reps on each set before gassing out.

Deadlift:  5×115, 5×140, 3×175 + 5×200, 5×240, 3×275

Very heavy.  Shins took a beating.  Used alternating grip on 2nd and 3rd set.  Left shoulder socket felt like it almost separated from my body at one point.

Boring But Big 70%

Squat: 3×135, 3×165, 1×185 + 5x5x200

These didn’t get me breathing heavy, but they were difficult and I couldn’t get to 10 reps on each set.  Had I actually tried to go the distance on each set, I’d probably have taken a much harder beating.  I also tried something different and instead of lifting my elbows, I tried to keep them underneath the bar close to perpendicular to the ground.  I felt my shoulder blades squeeze much harder.  There was less trap involvement because when I raised my elbow I would end up squeezing my traps really hard.  My torso also felt much more upright which was a relief because usually when the bar gets heavy I end up leaning over too much to the point where my torso is close to parallel with the ground making it very difficult to avoid doing a good morning on the way up.  Noticed that my right hand was buckling once fatigue started setting which put my wrist in an unfavorable position.  The loss of proper position in the right hand caused my biceps and lats to compensate for the compromised hand position.

Ab Wheel:  10/8/8

These were easier than I had expected at the time.  Little to no lower back pain.

Week 9 – 5/3/1 – Day 31

Cycle #3

And cycle numero 3 starts.  This is also the third and last month of the 3-month challenge, therefore, my Boring But Big assistance exercises will bump up to 70% training max.  Definitely much more difficult.  Today was press day and so my assistance was the bench.  Also, today I decided that I’m going to try going to the gym in the morning versus coming home after work.  Usually I get to the gym before 8 and stay until 9:30 / 10:00 depending on how late I get there.

Press:  5×70, 5×80, 5×90

Getting pretty heavy.  It was a workout just getting the bars off the rack.  I didn’t use a barbell and loaded plates since someone was in the squat rack so I decided to use the preset ones (what are these called??).  Hoodie probably didn’t help with shoulder mobility when I was raising the bar over.  Lower back was getting sore for some reason- not sure if I’m arching too much.

Boring But Big 70%

Bench Press: 3x10xBar + 1010/8/7/6 x 115

So, again, my right tri’s and lats were burning while my left tris and lats were practically unaffected.  I noticed that when I lower the bar, my right forearm wasn’t going down perpendicular to the floor.  It seems as though I may be tucking too much on the right side while I have my elbows flared on the left.  This obviously causes a load imbalance and also loading of different muscles from each side.  I stood to correct this on the latter sets and tried to just avoid the tucking for now and try focus on making my form symmetric.

Chinups:  4/2/2/2/2

These felt heavy.  I’m not sure if the bench drained my ability to pull, but I definitely much heavier when chinning.

Curls:  3x10x30 + Tricep pushdown:  1x10x30, 2x10x35 + Face pull: 3x10x25

I increased the weight on the tricep pushdowns, they’re way too easy now and I wanted some more resistance.  I’m not sure how I feel about increasing the curls yet.  Unfortunately, I’m using the “preset” barbells and so I can’t load 5 lbs on them easily.  And I also don’t want to be the jackass curling a normal barbell inside a squat rack.  The face pull felt significantly better.  I used parallel foot stance instead of staggered and leaned back a little so my body was at an incline.  First off, this took out back involvement completely.  This helped quite a bit because before I would have lower back aches when doing these.  Second, instead of pulling upward at a slant, I, instead, pulled the rope straight to my face.  Felt the anterior delts getting worked good.

Week 8 – 5/3/1 – Day 30

Cycle #2

Squat:  5×110, 5×140, 5×165

I banged out these reps pretty quickly.  Each rep I paused in the hole for about half a second.

Boring But Big 60%

Deadlift:  5x10x170

Decided to go with about shoulder width stance.  Felt different that when I lifted previously with narrow stance.  I imagined pushing my heels through the ground.  Scraping the shins really suck a lot.